University of Notre Dame senior linebacker Danny Spond was forced to end his college football career. The Littleton, Colo., native has suffered from hemiplegic migraines over the past year. Spond will remain with the program and mentor the Fighting Irish drop linebackers this fall.
“Hemiplegic migraines are a rare form of headache that present with temporary stroke-like symptoms, such as weakness and slurred speech,” said Notre Dame head football team physician Dr. Jennifer Malcolm, D.O. “Danny has suffered from a series of these migraines, but with medication, rehabilitation and a positive attitude he should avoid any long-term consequences. As there are no fully reliable predictors of hemiplegic migraines and ultimate prevention is extremely challenging, we fully support Danny.”
“My football playing career is over after suffering another paralyzing migraine early in fall camp,” said Spond. “I’ve received the best medical treatment and guidance possible. Unfortunately, an exact cause of these migraines remains undetermined, and in order to assure my overall well-being, I’m forced to walk away from the game with an extremely heavy heart.
“This has been an incredibly difficult time for me and my family, but by the Grace of God, we can find comfort in His greater plan. Being a man of God and an ambassador for his word, I have come to realize that in times of questioning His plan you have to let go and let God take over, and that is what I am doing. I’ve played this game my entire life, and losing it makes me feel as if I have lost something inside. But I find comfort in knowing my Lord will open the next chapter in my life and fill what’s been taken.
“I want to sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank each and every person who has supported me and my career at Notre Dame for their thoughts and prayers. You are the greatest people and fans in this world and make Notre Dame the most righteous University that I could ever represent; I love each and every one of you so very much. I promise to continue to give all I can to this University this year by coaching my position and providing senior leadership in all ways. You may no longer hear my name on the field, but I promise you, this is not the last you will hear of Danny Spond. With God, my family, and Notre Dame, I will persevere to do great things.”
Spond entered 2013 as the starter at outside linebacker for Notre Dame. He played in 29 career games and started the final 11 contests of the 2012 campaign. He collected 53 total tackles, including 25 solo stops, four pass break-ups, one and a half tackles for loss and one interception.
Spond will graduate from the University this spring with a degree in political science from the College of Arts and Letters. He is a Knute Rockne Scholar Athlete Award recipient and member of the Student Athlete Advisory Council.